Shuhei Yoshida, head of Sony’s Independent Developer Initiative and former president of Sony Interactive Entertainment Worldwide Studios (SIE), will be honoured with the prestigious BAFTA Fellowship during the upcoming BAFTA Games Awards 2023.
The award celebrates pioneers in the entertainment industry, and those who fulfil ‘outstanding achievements in the art forms of the moving image’ through their work. The award is one of the highest bestowed by the BAFTA Academy, and has a fifty year pedigree – with past recipients including Alfred Hitchcock, Stanley Kubrick, Anthony Hopkins, Christopher Lee, and Kathleen Kennedy.
While the majority of Fellowship recipients are actors and directors, a fair contingent of video game innovators have also been celebrated over the years. Will Wright, creator of The Sims, was the first game designer to be recognised by the BAFTA Academy, with his Fellowship granted in 2007. He was followed by a range of creators including Shigeru Miyamoto, Peter Molyneux, Gabe Newell, Tim Schafer, Hideo Kojima, and Siobhan Reddy.
Yoshida has been recognised for his contributions to Sony, which have spanned multiple decades. He first joined the PlayStation team in 1993, and went on to aid the production of several blockbuster franchises, including Jak and Daxter, Ape Escape, and Gran Turismo. In 2008, he became president of SIE, and served in this role for more than a decade before turning his attention to support for independent game developers.
Over the last several years, Yoshida has been a champion for indie games around the world, frequently attending events like PAX, and spotlighting upcoming projects on social media. It’s this work, and his contribution as SIE president, that has inspired his BAFTA Fellowship award.
‘Shuhei Yoshida is a pioneer in the games world and is hugely deserving of a BAFTA Fellowship,’ Jane Millichip, BAFTA CEO said in a press release. ‘His collaborative, supportive approach continues to drive progress within the industry, using his platform to promote the voices and craft of others and champion the work of independent designers, studios and creatives.’
Yoshida has expressed enthusiasm for the Fellowship, attributing his success to working alongside talented developers throughout his tenure.
‘Throughout my career, I’ve had the privilege of working with incredibly talented teams who’ve developed some of the best games in the industry,’ he said. ‘I’ve always celebrated alongside these developers as their games have received well-deserved awards – it is an amazing honour for me to receive an accolade of my own.’
The BAFTA Games Awards 2023 take place on 30 March 2023.